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A story appeared recently about an Australian shepherd mama and her pups. One of the pups, Ellie, was born blind and deaf due to double merle breeding, and had a rough start in life. But love found her, and she now lives and thrives with a family of devoted humans and pets.

Ellie’s mom has a rescue story with a happy ending as well. Her name is Cheyenne, and love found her, too.

“The mom was very unsure of people being around her pups, and was neglecting them due to stress. She didn’t like people touching her babies,” wrote Melissa Berndt-Snyder, the foster mother. “When I tried to touch them, she would nip or push me away…”

But slowly and surely, with much patience and perseverance, the loving humans taught Cheyenne to be a very good mom, and to trust that they were on her side and would help, not harm, her babes.

You know those God things, those moments of serendipity when a chance encounter changes your life? It happens to us over and over in our family. And it explains why we have so many beloved pets! We don’t question when someone comes into our lives, that Spirit has led them there, and we are called to accept, embrace and love whomever we are given.

Clarke made a business call one day to a client who knew we had Aussies. She mentioned a young mama dog that had been through quite a trauma in life already but was very sweet and liked to sit on her feet.

“If you think of anyone who might want her…” Well, those are fateful words! We had just rescued a Bengal kitten who was a delight, and turning our household on its heels. We already had three dogs and really didn’t need another one.

But this story tugged at our heartstrings and we never told anyone else. We went to meet Cheyenne and fell in love immediately. We took each of her new siblings in one at a time, and they thought she was fun, if a little feisty! When she came home to live with us forever, Buckwheat, Durango and Mesa didn’t hesitate a minute to welcome their new sister to the family. Since that first day, they walk on leashes or romp in the snow, play fetch, eat, sleep and hang out by the fire like they’ve been together forever. The cats give her a love swipe or a nuzzle when they go by.

Cheyenne has become a church dog at the Congregational Church. She loves on everyone who comes in, once she’s determined they’re a friend! She’s transferred that guarding of her pups to guarding of her person, and I always feel safe when mama Cheyenne is by my side! (Or under the desk, or on my feet.)

We visited her foster mom recently. Cheyenne was cautious around others, but when the mom came around the counter, she ran into her arms, covered her with kisses and nuzzled into her neck. We don’t forget love once we’ve found it! Thanks to AVHS, Cheyenne’s story is truly a love story that we (and she) will never forget.

Rev. Rebecca K. Poos is the Pastor of the Congregational United Church of Christ in BV. She is involved in numerous community groups, including Collegiate Peaks Forum Series board, Collegiate Peaks Chorale, music and equine activities.  She loves this community and the spirit and beauty found here. She can be reached at or 719-252-6890.

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